United States Eases Travel Advisory for Australia

The U.S. has downgraded its recent travel advisory for Australia amid raging wildfires that have led to poor air quality in some regions.

According to Sky News, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison implored “people very close” to U.S. President Donald Trump to revise the Level 2 advisory, which encouraged Americans to consider postponing their travel plans to “areas where air quality is significantly affected by bushfire conditions.”

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As of Monday, Australia is at a Level 1 (exercise normal precautions) on the U.S. State Department’s travel advisory scale. However, the U.S. government is still advising Americans to exercise increased caution in areas affected by bushfires and air quality issues, including the Australian Capital Territory, Central Tablelands of New South Wales and Southeastern Victoria.

The January 13 update reminds visitors that local authorities may issue evacuation orders to certain areas and to monitor local news media outlets for updates on affected areas.

“Visitors should exercise increased caution when considering travel to areas affected by bushfires until the risks posed by bushfires, and resulting in poor air quality, have passed,” says the State Department. “Smoke from bushfires is causing poor air quality, which can increase health risks for travelers with related health conditions. Check the air quality for your destinations and take precautions as needed.”

Travelers impacted in Australia should dial 000 for immediate assistance from the police and other emergency services. Meanwhile, Americans traveling abroad are also encouraged to sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows U.S. citizens to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate and receive important updates about the safety conditions in their destination.

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